Voltas' Pradeep Bakshi elevated as MD & CEO in succession plan

Pradeep Bakshi
Air-conditioning major Voltas on Monday announced the elevation of Chief Operating Officer Pradeep Bakshi as the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, effective next year. 

Bakshi, 55, a consumer durables expert has been with Voltas for most of his professional life, spanning three decades. Under him, Voltas has given foreign brands such as LG, Samsung and Whirlpool stiff competition in air conditioners.

The succession plan, a culmination of a two-year programme within the company, comes as incumbent MD and CEO Sanjay Johri retires next February. At the same time, Anil George who is currently executive director for finance and corporate affairs, would be elevated as the deputy managing director, which is a new post that has been created, the company said.

Voltas’s Chairman Noel Tata said the succession plan saw Johri and the board grooming the future leadership team of the company. “We are leaders in the room air-conditioning business with a market share of 22 per cent. Our net profit jumped by 30 per cent in FY17 to reach Rs 511 crore. And Voltas’s share price has grown by 340 per cent in five years,” Tata said. 

Johri said Voltas was entering a new phase with a joint venture (JV) for home appliances with Turkey’s Arcelik Group. “Our flagship consumer arm will achieve rapid growth both in the existing room AC business and also from the launch of refrigerators, washing machines and other consumer durables in the JV with Turkey’s Arcelik Group,” he said.

The JV with Arcelik was set up in March this year with an equity capital investment of $100 million, marking Voltas’s foray into home appliances. The JV leverages the brand presence, sales and distribution network of Voltas, while allowing Arcelik to bring its expertise in manufacturing and R&D to India.

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